Ronald Koeman’s future at Barcelona remains uncertain following their Champions League defeat to Bayern Munich, where they failed to register a shot on target, and the 1-1 draw against Granada on Monday.
The Catalan club take on Cádiz on Thursday and Koeman will still be in charge of the midweek clash. However, the La Liga side have started looking for replacements.
That’s according to Mundo Deporitvo, who say ‘two names stand out’. They are Al-Sadd coach Xavi and Belgium manager Roberto Martínez. The duo share good relationships with Jordi Cruyff, who advises Laporta.
Xavi wouldn’t have a problem to terminate his contract [until 2023] with the Qatari club, if there’s a proposal from Barcelona. Al-Sadd will not pose any obstacle to let him leave.
Although the former Camp Nou star is Laporta’s preferred option, the ex-Everton coach is also priority for the Spanish club. However, it would be difficult to take him away from Belgium.
That’s because De Rode Duivels will participate in the UEFA Nations League in October and are in the process of qualifying for the 2022 World Cup. In addition to this, Barcelona must also pay compensation to Belgium, if they want to appoint Martínez.
In the event Koeman is shown the exit door, which will be inevitable if results don’t improve, Laporta and his board want to take their time before deciding on his successor. ‘There will no longer be an umbrella to protect oneself’ since Koeman was appointed by Josep Maria Bartomeu and his board.
Barca’s board are aware the ‘bet is risky’ and want to be convinced the next manager will not only be able to reverse the current situation, but also lead the future project.
Interesting and challenging days ahead for Koeman and Barca’s board.